Soul Society North Branch (尸魂界・北梢局 (ソウル・ソサエティ ノース・ブランチ), Souru Sosaeti Nōsu Buranchi; Japanese for "Dead Spirit World North Office") is a spiritual dimension that manages the flow of souls. Unlike its eastern counterpart, which seemingly exists as a spiritual counterpart to Japan, and its New World counterpart, which exists as a spiritual counterpart to the Americas, the north branch of Soul Society exists as a spiritual counterpart to Scandinavia and the Arctic. It further differentiates itself from its counterparts in that it is far more focused on combating Giants rather than dealing with either Hollows or Dragons.
Soul Society North Branch, locally known as Vættirheim (霊物界 (ヴェッティールヘイム), Vettīruheimu, Japanese for “Spiritual Being World) is a reclusive branch of Soul Society. It has little contact with its eastern or western branches and is rumored to be heavily distrusting of either due to their willingness to work with their enemies. Unlike the western Soul Society, which is on the reverse side of London, the northern branch is more akin to its eastern Soul Society and exists in its own dimension.
The northern branch refers to the Human World, more specifically the parts it patrols, as Midgard (中国 (ミデュガード), Midugādo; Japanese for "middle country"). The sub-dimensional transportation system used by Soul Society North Branch that connects it to Midgard and other realms is known as Yggdrasil (世界樹の枝 (イッグドルシル), Iggudorushiru; Japanese for "Branches of the World-Tree").
The north branch consists of Valstad (戦死者の城 (ヴァールスタッド), Vārustaddo; Japanese for "Castle of the War-Dead"), which is a counterpart to the eastern Seireitei, and Folkvang (広大原 (フォールクヴァング), Fōrukuvangu; Japanese for "Vast Meadow"), which is a counterpart to the Rukongai. Valstad is a large, castle-like city, which is where the government and military of the north branch are situated. The Folkvang is a large expanse of mountains, fields, rivers, and lakes beyond the walls of Valstad containing various villages and settlements for souls who have died.
Despite the northern Soul Society's acknowledgemet of the Soul King, they do not consider him to be their monarch. Instead, they follow the Allfather (神王 (オールファーザー), Ōrufāzā; Japanese for "God-king") who acts as their King.
In addition to acting as the ruling monarch of the north branch, the Allfather fills a similar role to the Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13: serving as the realm's commander-in-chief of the military, the Hælfningir. He is the strongest spiritual being in the north branch, though he is very reclusive. His will is carried out by the other leaders of the military, so few ever truly see or hear the Allfather.
Like eastern Soul Society, the north branch also has noble houses. These powerful families are known as the Hárkind (崇高な家 (ハーキンド), Hākindo; Japanese for “Noble House”) , of which there are known to be -----. Each Great House possesses a fortress in the Folkvang and are charged with protecting the souls around their holds. They also supply the majority of the armed forces of the northern branch and, as a result, hold considerable political clout throughout the north branch's realm. Ultimately, however, they still answer to the Allfather.
The military is composed of a few different divisions delineated by task and purpose, however the general term for a spiritual warrior in the service of the northern Soul Society is a banir (荒神 (バニール), Banīru; Japanese for“Wild God”). The main military force of the northern Soul Society is named the Nio Riki Vörd Hælfningir (護国土九隊 (ニオ・リキ・ヴルヅ・ハイルフニンギル), Nio Riki Vuruzu Hyerufuningiru; Japanese for, “Nine Division Realm Guard”), but commonly just called Hælfningir (隊たち (ハイルフニンギル), Hairufuningiru, Japanese for “Divisions”).
It is the mission of the Hælfningir to keep in balance dual evolutionary forces of the Mists of Niflheim and the Flames of Muspelheim, and to avoid stagnation and the joining of the two. It is said that the last time the primordial Mists and Flames joined, the Universe was created, destroying whatever was in existence beforehand.
The Valkyries (金鷲女 (バルキリー), Barukirī; Japanese for "Golden Eagle Maiden") are considered the front lines of the Banir, as they are responsible for the ferrying of souls that died through battle or through other violent and perceived noble actions. The Valkyries are considered Noble despite whatever upbringing they may have actually had, and are given highest respects for their jobs as “choosers of the slain” (殺害の選択者、satsugai no sentaku-sha). While they are elite warriors and will always follow the Allfather to defend Valstad and Vættirheim, their primary functions sees them in Midgard, ferrying dead souls.
The Einherjar (孤軍士 (アインヘルジャー), Ainherujā; Japanese for “Forlorn Soldiers”) are the primary soldiers of the Hæflningir, considered a direct parallel to Shinigami. They are composed mostly of Hárkind soldiers, but it isn’t uncommon for commoners to possess enough spiritual power to join the Einherjar. While the Valkyries are primarily responsible for the battle-slain, the Einherjar are a more general force responsible for the defense of the Human World and maintenance of the balance of souls.
- Giants (凝 (ジャイアント), Jaianto; Japanese for “stiffness; lingering discomfort; uneasiness; bad aftertaste; unpleasant feeling”) are, like Dragons and Hollows, malevolent spiritual beings, and the primary enemies of the Banir. Giants are, in essence, a crystallization of a human soul’s negative emotion and distaste with the world. They are considered the coalescence of the Mists and/or the Flames, and thus agents of stagnation and imbalance. They usually come in two main forms, Ash Giants, and Rime Giants.
- Ash Giant (灰燼凝 (かいじん・ジャイアント), kaijin jaianto; lit. “Ember Giant”)
- Rime Giant (霧氷凝' (むひょう・ジャイアント), muhyō jaianto; lit. “Frost Giant”)
- Heygja (土葬 (ヘイギャ), heigya; Japanese for. “Burial”) is the northern Soul Society’s term for the eastern concept of konsō.
- Vættirmegin (冷力 (ヴァイッテュルメギン), Vaitturumegin; Japanese for “Chilled Power”) is the northern Soul Society’s term for the eastern concept of Reiryoku. It is conceptualized as potential power; a chilled pool of energy within oneself.
- Vættirmakt (熱力 (ヴァイッテュルマックト), Vaitturumakkuto; Japanese for “Heated Power”) is the northern Soul Society’s term for the eastern concept of reiatsu. It is conceptualized as dynamic, active power; a heated energy exerted from oneself.